JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

“People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.” 
- Richard Carlson

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JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.” ― Walt Disney

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JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

“What you do counts more than what you say you do. Your actions tell everyone who you really are. If you want respect, then show respect for others. If you want to be a person of action, then take action. If you want to be successful, act successful in all you do. If you want other people to help you, then help them first. If you want love, then show that you are a loving person. Your actions grow the forest that becomes your life’s journey.” — Don Shapiro

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The Happsters

It’s finally here: Power of a Smile Day (June 15th)! Did you even know there was such a thing? While I know you all practice your smiling skills every day, today we should all be especially conscious of our smiles. Maybe take this day to hand out a happy note or two at the same time!

Here are a 6 fun smile facts:

#1 Smiling releases endorphins. These endorphins relieve stress and help you feel better.

#2 Smiling is known as an expression of happiness and acceptance across all cultures.

#3 Smiling is contagious. A Swedish study found that people had trouble frowning when they looked at other people who were smiling. Their muscles twitched into smiling on their own!

#4 Babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born. Smiling is something that comes naturally and isn’t learned.

#5 Smiling can reduce your blood pressure. Researchers found…

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truer words were never written…

JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

“If you embrace the gifts you’ve been given, you’ll focus less on what you think you don’t have. The sexiest people are those who exude inner beauty and confidence. The more comfortable you are with what you have, the happier you will feel and the more attractive you will become.” — Gabrielle Bernstein

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Image

After some tumultuous weather here in New York, we were rewarded with a glorious weekend, and I made sure to make the most of it with some wonderful, Simple Pleasures.

Saturday was a day well spent in the gardens; cleaning out some weeds taller than me in my lily patch, trimming and fussing over the bushes and of course, moving a few items that no longer fit where they were planted. (My husband likes to remind me that planting with velcro would be a sensible option). I worked outside all day in the abundant sunshine, and feeling that the day was a good and productive one, I felt that good tired that comes with making my gardens more beautiful.

But Saturday night was the cherry on top. The assisted living facility where my father lives hosted their “Senior Prom”. The name alone brings a smile to my face. There was good food, fabulous decorations of twinkle lights and scenes from NYC, and a great band that played a terrific array of dance tunes.

Now you would think that a facility that houses mostly infirm and Alzheimer’s patients would have quite a job creating a party atmosphere, but I’m here to tell you that these folks may not remember what you said a minute ago, but they sure know how to party! My dad and I danced to practically every song. The man never missed a step. He was always a fantastic dancer, and somehow, in spite of his confusion about day to day stuff, he remembered every word to every song, and can still cut a mean rug. I’m talking roughly two hours of solid dancing waltzes, the Lindy hop and even a bit of disco. My mom actually danced with him for a few minutes until she was breathless with joy.

To see and feel the utter delight in his eyes was something I cannot describe with words, and it’s something I will carry with me always. And although he probably has no recollection of it today, we had the moment (or moments-two hours!) and that’s what really matters. I hope that special evening will stay in his heart forever.

Sunday was another incredible day with temps in the upper seventies and lots of sunshine. It cried out for a paddle, and so I met up with a friend in Oyster Bay and we kayaked for four hours, meandering and exploring that exquisite cove. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, it’s like we saw each other yesterday. The conversation is picked up wherever we left off, and there is a comfortable, relaxed feel to our visits. It’s one of my favorite pastimes, paddling with my friend, and on a day like today, it just doesn’t get better than that.

The added bonus to this amazing weekend was coming home to a delicious meal made by my husband, and the welcome home frenzy from my animals. I’m always so tickled to be met at the door by their exuberant greetings, each one telling me what happened while I was gone. Lots of petting and kisses ensue to be finished off with a nice walk with my dog, and I am feeling that good tired again, grateful for a weekend spent outdoors, with family and friends, a happy dog and two cats weaving in and out of my legs.

I ask you, what more could anyone want?

I love this quote! Thank you!

JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day” ~ Henri Nouwen

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